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Who Pays for H-1B and Green Card Fees?

Clients commonly ask who is required to pay the fees associated with filing an H-1B or a green card petition through an employer. The answer is not always straightforward. Below is a breakdown of the fees linked to each petition and who is required to pay.


When filing an H-1B petition, there are two sets of fees. The employer is required to pay both.

  1. Attorney Fees: Federal regulations prohibit employers from recouping H-1B costs that are considered a “business expense.” This includes: tools and equipment; transportation costs incident of, and necessary to, employment; living expenses when the employee is traveling on the employer business; and attorney fees and other costs associated with filing an H-1B petition. An H-1B employer cannot require an employee to pay for or reimburse the employer for attorney fees connected with filing an H-1B. However, the employer is permitted to require the H-1B employee to bear the cost when filing an application for an H-4 dependent spouse or child.
  1. Filing Fees: Each of the required U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) filing fees must be paid by the employer. This is mandated by the Immigration and Nationality Act and federal regulations. However, any optional fees, such as 15-day premium processing, may be paid by either party depending on the circumstances. If the employer requests premium processing, it is required to bear the cost, but if the employee requests the optional fee, he or she may be required to pay.

You or an employee may be eligible for an H-1B visa. To learn more, please visit our website at

Green Card

When sponsoring a foreign national for U.S. permanent residence status, three applications typically need to be filed. This includes an Application for Permanent Employment Certification, an I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, and an I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The employer is required to pay:

  • PERM Fees: The employer is responsible for all fees associated with the permanent employment certification process, including recruitment costs and attorney fees.

The employer is not required to pay:

  • I-140 Fees: The employer is not required to pay any fees associated with filing an I-140. This includes both filing fees and attorney fees;
  • I-485 Fees: The employer is not required to pay any fees associated with filing an I-485. This includes filing fees, biometric fees and attorney fees.

In other words, the employer or the employee will have to bear the cost of filing Forms I-140 and I-485. It is recommended that both parties understand and discuss these financial responsibilities before filing a green card petition. For more information on obtaining a green card, please visit our website at